Digital niche insurance specialist becomes Ripe.

The trailblazing insurance provider behind many of the UK’s most successful niche brands The JRW Group has been rebranded as Ripe.

With ten insurance products and over 180,000 policyholders, Ripe’s Managing Director, John Woosey said that the company recognised that the time was right for a fresh, new brand identity to unite the company’s existing products and power the insurer through their next wave of growth.

Woosey commented, “Since we launched 20 years ago, our approach has always been about using cutting-edge technology and digital marketing expertise to enter niche insurance markets and bring consumers a better product, competitive pricing and a slicker online experience. The Ripe re-brand brings all of these aspects together under one parent brand and gives us an exciting platform to launch our many new products. Our vision is that Ripe becomes a recognised household name in niche insurance – we’re becoming big by thinking small.”

Paul Williams, Executive Chairman, said:

“Our ethos is all about using technology to do things better than traditional insurers. Our in-house technology, market modelling and use of data makes buying insurance simple, clear, fast and tailored.”

Earlier this year, Ripe announced a 26% year on year increase in Gross Written Premium (GWP) for year-end 31 December 2016 – from £7.3 million in 2015 to £9.2 million – making Ripe one of the industry’s best performers in terms of annual growth. 2016 was the ninth consecutive year of growth for Ripe, adding to an incredibly strong previous year, which saw GWP up by 25% – from £5.9m in 2014 to £7.3m in 2015. In 2016 EBITDA remained stable at around £2m, after extensive investment in marketing, technology and recruiting new talent. Plus, the launch of two new brands – Insure4Boats and Insure4Drones.

Commenting on the success of Ripe, Colin Whitehead, Chief Executive Officer said:

“We are highly focused. We target niche areas of underwriting profit using our data, analytics, underwriting skills and marketing know-how to make our products quick and easy for customers to buy online. Being focused in this way produces superior underwriting results which creates a highly sustainable and scalable model. Our results are proof that this model works.”

Investment in pricing algorithms & robotics

Ripe plans to invest even further in its digital channels and use of technology in the latter half of 2017, including the use of advanced pricing algorithms and expanding its existing use of robotics. Williams commented, “we use robotics to help us with the heavy lifting of data analysis. They never sleep, they never tire, they never stop.” Williams continued:

“Our robotics, analytical tools and pricing algorithms are integral to us when it comes to researching the markets we enter. This technology enables us to thoroughly understand exactly what type of product and cover options consumers need and build a tailored offering based on those needs. This means that with us, consumers can ‘pick’ the parts of the policy that are relevant to them and avoid paying for ‘bundled’ cover that includes options they won’t use.”

With technology and investment enabling the company to grow so quickly Whitehead was very keen to add that the company is committed to staying true to its core value of delivering outstanding service.

“In the online world of social media, you have to deliver on your promises. There is no place to hide as people will immediately react. Our client satisfaction metrics are excellent and we believe this is down to our in-depth knowledge of the niche sectors we operate in.”

Ripe has also revealed new offices at its headquarters in Manchester, which will house the existing 50 strong team and will provide the right environment and space it needs to grow further.

Woosey commented on what can be expected next for Ripe: “The business has deliberately stayed off the insurance market radar until now, quietly growing its size and capabilities, but the launch of Ripe will see us hit the turbo button. We have huge plans to grow Ripe into new markets in the UK and new territories globally.”